The Digital Ecosystem Country Assessment (DECA), a flagship initiative of the Digital Strategy, identifies opportunities and risks in a country’s digital ecosystem to help the development, design, and implementation of USAID’s strategies, projects, and activities. It informs USAID Missions and other key decision-makers about how to better understand, work with, and support a country’s digital ecosystem.
The Libya Digital Ecosystem Country Assessment (DECA) report presents the findings and recommendations of the Libya DECA. It outlines the key aspects of Libya’s digital ecosystem and provides 14 recommendations for creating a more inclusive, safe, and enabling environment. Guided by USAID/Libya priorities, the DECA process included desk research, consultations with USAID/Libya and USAID/Middle East (ME) Bureau offices, and 58 key informant interviews with stakeholders from civil society, academia, and the private and public sectors.
Key findings include:
- Connectivity infrastructure is fairly well developed in coastal urban areas but lags behind in Libya’s sparsely populated southern region.
- COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of digital tools and services across sectors; however, Libyans are reluctant to adopt new tools due to unfamiliarity with specific platforms, lack of trust, lack of digital literacy, or when they feel these tools and services are unnecessary.
- Many Libyan internet users are “Facebook literate,” but are less familiar with more advanced digital tools such as online payments.
- Libya’s decade-long conflict and instability have limited the House of Representatives’ ability to clarify roles, and responsibilities, and to pass new legislation. Laws from the previous regime are still technically in force.
- The government is prioritizing digitalization; however, there are significant barriers to execution. These are tied to inadequate digital infrastructure, a piecemeal approach rather than an overall strategy, and insufficient legal and regulatory frameworks.
- Libyan government institutions have uneven cybersecurity capabilities and there is no information publicly available on cybersecurity strategies, data privacy laws or authority, or effective cyber crisis management.
- Civil society organizations and journalists have limited capacity to respond to cyber attacks and online harassment, often leading to self-censorship.
- The Central Bank of Libya plays a critical role in the enabling environment and has faced a number of financial, monetary, and leadership crises that have affected Libya’s banking system and eroded consumer trust.
- The current payments infrastructure is fragmented in both banking and e-wallet markets, preventing a seamless payment experience and inhibiting uptake.
- Libya’s private sector is demonstrating its ability to innovate with workaround solutions to market limitations.
USAID’s Digital Strategy charts an Agency-wide approach to development in a rapidly evolving digital age. Building on decades of USAID leadership in digital development, the Strategy outlines USAID’s deliberate and holistic commitment to improve development and humanitarian assistance outcomes through the use of digital technology and to strengthen open, inclusive, and secure digital ecosystems.